Adairsville visitor guide


Once a small Cherokee Indian village, Adairsville was named after Walter John S. Adair, a Scottish settler who fell in love and was married to a Cherokee Indian woman. This, of course, was before the forced removal of the Cherokee people in 1838.

Located in the Oothcalooga Valley in Bartow County, this northwestern Georgia destination was the first in the state to have their entire town listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today tourists flock to this quaint little town for antiquing and shopping at many of the unique boutiques in the town’s central business and retail district.

Tourism didn’t really come to Adairsville until 1991 when the 160-year-old Barnsley Gardens opened to the public.

Adairsville’s involvement in the Civil War stands out as a pivotal moment in the town’s history. What became known as the Great Locomotive Chase took place on April 12, 1862, when a group of Union spies stole a locomotive in Kennesaw and drove it north through Adairsville to Ringgold, where it was recovered. The incident was made into a feature film in 1956 by Walt Disney Studios. Every year come fall, the Great Locomotive Chase Festival, a three-day celebration, is held in remembrance of the event during the first weekend in October.

Tourists visiting Adairsville can still see the original depot that witnessed the pursuit of the steam locomotive General. The 1847 Railroad Depot is home to the Adairsville Welcome Center, which introduces visitors to the heritage of one of Georgia's most historic cities.

Why You Should Go

Adairsville provides the urban vacationer an opportunity to escape the heady rat race in a small town environment that still exhibits a great deal of 19th century charm. Rich with history, Adairsville, Cartersville and the surrounding Bartow County area offer home style and gourmet dining, museums, golf and resort relaxation opportunities.

Main Attractions

* Barnsley Gardens: In the late 1840s Sir Godfrey Barnsley of Derbyshire, England, built Barnsley Gardens for his wife Julia. Regrettably, she died before the house could be completed, but legend has it that her spirit appeared to Sir Godfrey, telling him to complete the work. He did so, under the direction of famed architect Andrew Jackson Downing, who designed the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and White House. Today what amount to ruins are all that remain of the great house. In 1988 Prince Hubertus Fugger restored the gardens and renovated the grounds into an upscale golf resort that attracts visitors from around the globe.

* Booth Western Art Museum: Located in nearby Cartersville, this 120,000 square-foot museum devoted to Western American art opened in August 2003. Other attractions include Civil War art, letters from presidents and their portraits, as well as vintage Western film posters and illustrations. Don’t forget to visit Sagebrush Ranch – an interactive gallery where children and adults can learn about art and the American West.

* Etowah Indian Mounds: The legendary Etowah Indian Mounds is a 54-acre archaeological site in Bartow County. Built over a five century period, from 1000–1550, the site is located on the north shore of the Etowah River. Designated a National Historic Landmark, it is the most intact Mississippian or Creek culture site in the Southeastern United States.

How to Get There

Adairsville's location – 65 miles north of Atlanta – makes for a convenient overnight getaway. Three motels at I-75 Exit 306 offer comfortable accommodations at reasonable prices. RV campers are welcome at the Harvest Moon RV Park and Leisure Time RV Park.

Links of Interest

* Chamber of Commerce:

* Tourist Board:

* Hotel/Motel Association:

* Restaurant Association: